In Marseille, dilapidated schools, overheated “thermal sieves”

From Monday, a kindergarten teacher from the 4th arrondissement registered 30 ° C in the classroom. On Thursday, the thermometer had risen to 34 ° C. In his classroom, as in the toddler’s dormitory, to the south, only curtains protect from the sun.

The class in a school with a metal structure experiences “insulation problems around windows and walls“, according to the report of the last school council.”In the winter it is so cold there that we even brought an extra heater.“, The teacher remembers.

One third of Marseille schools, according to City Hall’s website “genuine thermal colander“. The left-wing municipality, elected in July 2020, inherited more than twenty years of neglect from the former right-wing majority, which had left primary schools.

In this school in the popular district of Chutes-Lavie, we hide a bitter memory of the former municipality, which “by mistake” had had the only tree in the yard cut down. Results: “We have no shade at all, apart from spraying the children with water when it is very hot, we have no solution. “witnesses the director, who preferred to remain anonymous, to be subject to the reserve duty.

In the meantime, she would at least like the installation of shade cloths, a request that has been unanswered for several months.

In another school, the children of Cécile Baron, a member of the collective of Marseille schools, it is the parents of students who “ended up buying them themselves, the canvases “, she explains: “The children felt so bad in the yard that there was vomiting”.

“Can not keep learning”

Another parent representative, Séverine Gil, describes “children who fell on the very hot asphalt and were seriously burned “. She is especially concerned about the little ones, “who do not know how to deal with the heat, drink e.g. on a regular basis“.

She feels he will be “impossible to continue learning in some classes“and finds a schooling”earlier this year“.

“The school renovation plan is really good, with projects to, for example, dewater the floors, but it is about too few establishments and for too long.“, Mrs. Gil apologizes and asks”emergency solutions“.

The Mayor of Marseille Benoît Payan (left) has launched a major school renovation project, “historic“according to its terms, to which the state has contributed up to 400 million euros.

According to sustainable urban planning researcher Marie-Laure Lambert, this plan is “has a very virtuous goal as it integrates the issue of revegetation of schools”.

“When you think about it, it’s nonsense to put children on asphalt“, Mrs. Lambert explains: “You have to bring children back into contact with nature.“.

This reintroduction of green in the city will, in addition to a refreshing effect for the students in the daytime, also benefit the districts, she notes, as the town hall in its renovation plan plans to open the school to associations, also outside teaching. timer,to assemble buildings and avoid building more “.

Problem according to the unions and the parents of the students: on the sidelines of this great work, today it would be necessary to “act urgently” at the schools not covered by the plan, or not in the short term.

Reached by AFP on Thursday, the deputy mayor in charge of schools, Pierre-Marie Ganozzi, assured himself teacher, “equipped with fans and garden hoses“the crèches and the most disadvantaged schools:”Our priorities are the classes in algecos without air conditioning, where the temperature is insane. “

At the beginning of the school year, he announcedwe get the municipal council to vote on the installation of playgrounds, not against the rain, but against the sun, with retractable tarpaulin systems for schools that do not have trees ”.

These increasingly frequent heat waves should also push on “thinking about the school calendar”according to the principal of the Chutes-Lavie School.

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